Over the past couple of decades, the medium of fan art has reached incredible heights of artistry, depth and skill. It’s no surprise that the cream of the crop is worthy of the fanfare of gallery exhibition!
Gallery1988 is an amazing space – more than one space now, actually! – in Los Angeles whose major focus is on highlighting the work of incredible artists who take their inspiration from popular culture. Katie Cromwell and Jensen Karp opened the gallery in 2004, and ever since they’ve hosted some of the most incredible collections of pop culture art in the world. Exhibitions in years past have run the gamut from genre-inspired (children’s books, comedians) and some have even focused on singular films or directors. (The cult fave comedy Clue got its own exhibition, as did the works of Guillermo del Toro.)
The tentpole Gallery1988 event, however, is Crazy4Cult, which in its eleventh year is kick-starting another decade of wide-reaching inspiration across a whole host of films beloved by geeks everywhere. The one unifying factor of Crazy4Cult’s works of artist that the films and shows that it pays tribute command some of the most dedicated fanbases around, which is highlighted in this year’s current exhibition by a host of awesome works across so many genres of fandom.
Each year’s selection of works often highlights specific films and filmmakers prominently, and a heavy contingent of pieces in 2017’s selection pay tribute to films from the Jim Henson stable of classics, notably Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal. it’s no surprise that the magical realms in the Henson tradition inspire beautiful works of art, from full-color dreamscapes like “The Great Conjunction” (see left) to duotone ink works like “You precious thing.” (see the gallery below); rarely have our fantasy favorites been so gorgeously realized.
Of course, so many mediums are used within Crazy4Cult, and some of the fun of the experience is seeing just how creative the contributing artists can get. Sculpture and other 3D works are often represented as well, and some of the more exciting pieces in recent years have turned toward wearable art in addition to collectible pieces. Half Shut returns this year with her uniquely charming jewelry, with two limited-edition pieces honoring Beetlejuice and The Shining; meanwhile, pins are all the rage these days and there are lots of amazing pin sets you can not only geek out over but take home, including pin sets celebrating beloved duos like The McKenzies and The Blues Brothers. There’s even the baddest of bad-ass pins by Nathan Anderson of Tim Curry’s Darkness from Legend (see right)… and I admit, I’m a bit of a jerk for sharing it with you because this one’s already sold out. Come on now, though…. isn’t it rad?!
If you’re near or local to L.A., Crazy4Cult continues to run at Gallery1988’s Melrose space through the end of this week, and as it’s that time of year we feel compelled to recommend a visit of you’re a lover of incredible pop culture creativity. If you can’t make it, though, do not pass up a browse through the exhibition’s catalog online; many of the coolest pieces are available as affordable prints you can order online. (Also, pssst – they’re having a holiday sale with 30% off a ton of items; give your fave the gift of ART this season!)
More from Crazy4Cult 11, now on exhibition through December 2nd at Gallery1988 (West), 7309 Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles: